Calendly vs. Google Calendar: Which calendar tool is better?

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Calendly and Google Calendar are two great options when it comes to scheduling calendar services.

I’ll compare Calendly vs. Google Calendar to see which one is better.

 
 
Free - $20/mo (per seat)
Free - $18/mo
Everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies looking for a tool to make scheduling (and remembering) meetings easier.
Ideal for professionals, small teams/businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs on a budget/looking for value for money.
Free - $20/mo (per seat)
Everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies looking for a tool to make scheduling (and remembering) meetings easier.
Free - $18/mo
Ideal for professionals, small teams/businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs on a budget/looking for value for money.

If you’re anything like me, dealing with scattered meetings throughout an already jam-packed work day can be a major motivation-killer.

That’s why I swear by an appointment scheduling software to set strict availability and reduce back-and-forth emails trying to find a time that works for everyone.

Calendly is a dedicated scheduling platform, while Google Calendar is primarily a calendar app that’s also widely used by business owners to schedule meetings and appointments.

They’re very different types of software, but they can be used for a lot of the same things.

Which one you choose is largely going to come down to whether you prefer a more automated or hands-on approach.

In this guide, we’ll compare and dive into the feature sets of both so you can decide which is the better fit for your business.

Calendly vs. Google Calendar at a glance

CriteriaCalendlyGoogle CalendarWinner
SMB Guide’s Rating9/108/10Calendly
Appointment Workflow AutomationCalendly
Customization OptionsCalendly
Calendar Management FeaturesSync with Google, iCloud, Outlook, and Exchange calendarsSync with Google suite and other calendarsTie
Automated Reminders and NotificationsTie
UX and UIHigh user-friendlinessHigh user-friendlinessCalendly
Integrations & API Capabilities100+ integrationsIntegrates with Google WorkspaceCalendly
Supported PlatformsWeb-based, iOS and Android mobile appsWeb-based, iOS and Android mobile appsCalendly
Customer SupportLive chat, automated chat box, email support ticketsDirect Google supportCalendly
PricingFree – $20/mo (per seat)Free – $18/moGoogle Calendar
ScalabilityHighly scalableHighly scalableTie

Calendly: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

calendly homepage

Calendly is the leading automated appointment scheduling tool that makes “finding time” a breeze.

It’s one of the most widely-known schedulers out there, and I’ll admit that I may be somewhat biased towards it since it’s what I use (and love!) for my own business.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Free forever plan

iOS & Android apps

100+ integrations

Easy to build workflows

Cons

Too many features

Expensive for larger teams

Pricing

Calendly offers four different plan options, one being a free forever plan that offers very basic scheduling functionality.

If you’re a first-time user, you’ll get a free 14-day trial of their Teams plan when you sign up.

Note that Calendly uses “per seat” pricing – meaning the total cost of the software depends on how many different user accounts you need.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Calendly’s subscription options:

  • Free: $0 per month forever
  • Standard: $12/seat per month
  • Teams: $20/seat per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for teams of 30+

Google Calendar: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

google calendar homepage

If you’ve not tried Google Calendar yourself, then chances are you’ve at least heard of it.

It’s one of the most popular calendar softwares out there for individuals and businesses alike.

It’s primarily a calendar app, but it also includes appointment scheduling functionality to help automate things a bit.

I use Google Calendar for my business to manage my schedule, do time blocking, and more.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Free to use

Seamless integration with G-Suite

Easy and responsive design

Mobile app available

Cons

Lacks advanced features

Only available to Google users

Pricing

You can sign up for Google Calendar completely free and use it forever if you so desire.

However, if you need more robust appointment scheduling features, you’ll need to sign up for a paid Google Workspace plan.

Google Workspace offers four different subscription tiers, and you’ll get a 14-day free trial when you sign up.

Similar to Calendly, Google Workspace also uses a “per seat” pricing model.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Google’s subscription options:

  • Free: Basic Google account (Calendar included) for $0 per month
  • Business Starter: $6/user per month
  • Business Standard: $12/user per month
  • Business Plus: $18/user per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing – contact sales for a quote

Appointment Workflow Automation

Calendly’s appointment scheduling process is really automated and seamless.

Once you’ve created your scheduling page, your clients can choose the event type they want to book with you, choose from the available days you set, and schedule the meeting all from their end.

calendly appointment scheduling

Google Calendar allows you to create appointment slots by visiting your main calendar page and clicking Create > Appointment Slots.

google calendar appointment scheduling

From there, you can choose a title for your event, select the time slot people can book appointments, and set a meeting duration.

Now, if you’re someone that wants to make yourself available multiple days a week for multiple different meeting types, you’ll likely find that Google Calendar’s appointment scheduling tool requires too much manual setup, whereas Calendly’s is a lot more automated.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Customization Options

If you’re on a paid Calendly plan, you’ll be able to create multiple appointment types.

That way, when someone books with you, they’ll be able to select the type of appointment and you’ll have an idea in advance of what the meeting will be about.

calendly events

You can also customize your scheduling page URL as well as the URLs of individual appointment types.

If you want to remove Calendly’s branding, upgrade to the Standard plan to replace it with your own branding and logo.

calendly branding options

Now, Google Calendar does provide some customization when it comes to events, but not much.

Here are the options you get when creating a new appointment slot:

google calendar color schemes

As far as branding, you really only have the ability to change your company logo (if on a Google Workspace plan) and your profile avatar.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Calendar Management Features

Calendly can integrate with your external calendar with Google, Outlook, iCloud, or Exchange to prevent accidental double-booking.

It also automatically converts time zones so there’s no confusion if you’re meeting someone that lives across the world.

calendly calendar management

Rescheduling events as needed is also pretty simple, and notifications will be automatically sent out to your client to keep them in the loop.

In Google Calendar, you can “subscribe” to external calendars on platforms like Outlook or iCloud.

This will allow you to see the events in those calendars via your Google Calendar, but you won’t be able to make edits or changes to them.

Time zone conversions are automatic.

google calendar time zone settings

Canceling booked appointments made through your scheduling page is simple, too.

Just open the booked appointment and click “Cancel appointment” then “Cancel your appointment” on the page that opens.

Or, you can literally just RSVP “no” to a calendar invitation to cancel an appointment.

✅ Winner: Tie

Automated Reminders and Notifications

On the free plan, clients will automatically receive notifications when they schedule a meeting with you on Calendly.

calendly automated reminders

If you want more reminders to go out, such as the day before or day of the meeting, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

On the Standard plan and higher, you can schedule automatic email or text reminders to go out at whatever time you choose.

calendly text reminders

Google Calendar also provides automatic reminders. You can set default reminders for an entire calendar (which applies to all events inside) or set specific reminders for each event.

google calendar notification settings

✅ Winner: Tie

User Experience and User Interface

Both Calendly and Google Calendar have pleasant, easy-to-use interfaces. Seriously, it won’t take long at all before you’re able to find your way around each.

Everything is pretty simple. Here’s what Calendly’s main dashboard looks like:

calendly dashboard

I’m sure you probably already know what Google Calendar looks like:

google calendar interface

That said, if you’re primarily looking for an automated scheduling solution, Calendly’s user experience is worlds better than Google Calendar.

It’s more intuitive because that’s the main purpose it was built for. Here’s what the scheduling page in Google Calendar looks like.

Kind of clunky if you ask me:

Google Calendar scheduling page

✅ Winner: Calendly

Integrations & API Capabilities

With Calendly, you’ll be able to integrate with your calendar app, plus over 100 other third-party applications including marketing automation, project management, applicant tracking systems, and more.

calendly integrations

Google Calendar integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Google Suite, including Docs, Sheets, Forms, Meet, and more.

It can also integrate with some popular external apps, but there’s no one central place to look at all their partners.

You’ll need to check each app individually to see if they integrate.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Supported Platforms

While Calendly is primarily a web-based software, it also has mobile apps available for both iOS and Android devices.

Both apps have pretty high user ratings, with 4.9 stars on the App Store and 4.7 stars on Google Play.

Google Calendar is also a web-based software with mobile apps for iOS and Android. It’s rated 4.6 stars on the App Store and 4.4 stars on Google Play.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Customer Support

Calendly has an automated chat box (for quick and simple questions), or you can submit a support ticket if you need assistance from a live human.

However, you’ll need to be signed into your Calendly account if you want to submit a ticket.

calendly customer support

There’s also a Help Center available with written guides and video tutorials if you want a walkthrough of Calendly’s different features.

calendly help center

In Google Workspace, you can contact Google directly for support. Start by logging into your Google Admin console and selecting “Get help.”

Support options vary depending on your subscription, and it doesn’t appear that there’s much support available for users on the free plan.

That said, there is a Help Center you can visit and a Community that you can post questions in if you need assistance with something super specific.

google calendar help

✅ Winner: Calendly

Pricing

Calendly offers a free plan, plus three paid subscription options that start out at $12/seat per month and go all the way up to a custom pricing model if your team is large enough (30 or more people).

The free plan is a great option if you’re just starting out – it works just fine for me as a freelancer with a handful of clients.

calendly pricing

You can sign up for Google Calendar completely free, but you’ll only be able to create a single booking page for clients to schedule with you.

If you want different types of appointments, automatic email reminders, and other premium features, you’ll need a Google Workspace or Google One plan.

The lowest Google Workspace plan starts out at $6/month for individuals.

✅ Winner: Google Calendar

Scalability

If we’re talking about scalability strictly from an appointment scheduling standpoint, then Calendly wins.

Since it was designed solely for that purpose, it makes sense that it offers more robust and advanced features.

But here’s my take as someone who uses both softwares: These two apps are best used in tandem.

Use Calendly for appointment scheduling, and Google Calendar to manage your time as a whole for a solution that’s truly scalable.

Plus, when you pay for Google Workspace you get automatic access to tons of other useful apps, as well.

It’s well worth the cost, in my opinion.

✅ Winner: Tie

Calendly vs. Google Calendar: SMB Guide’s Verdict

It doesn’t really feel totally fair to compare these softwares head-to-head, as they’re not built equally with the same functions in mind.

Calendly is more of a dedicated automated scheduling solution, while Google Calendar is mostly just your run-of-the-mill calendar app without too many extra bells and whistles.

All that said, if you’re looking specifically for a tool that makes scheduling and remembering meetings easier, Calendly is probably the right choice for you.

Create an account today and receive a free 14-day trial to their Teams plan!

If you don’t mind manual scheduling but just want a reliable place to keep track of your days, check out Google Calendar (if you haven’t already).

The interface is clean and easy to use, and it can be scaled up as your business grows.

Start your free Google Workspace trial today.

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Charlee is a freelance content writer for e-commerce and SaaS businesses. She has written for well-known brands like Aura, Identity Guard, and Zola and achieved page one rankings for dozens of projects.